Two grizzly bears have been killed in northwest Montana, one by a hunter and one by Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks.

Information and Program Manager for District One, Dillon Tabish provides details.

“We had an adult male grizzly bear that was euthanized this weekend near Libby after he broke into a garage seeking a food source,” said Tabish. “Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks staff captured the bear on private property south of town, and because it had broken into a garage and fed on a harvested elk, we did put that bear down because it had previously attempted to break into a barn seeking food. We moved it because it was not successful in breaking into that barn, but this time it was successful and it appears that bears is just going to keep going after human food, so we decided to put that bear down.”

Tabish said the second grizzly bear death was due to self defense.

“There was an investigation dealing with a self defense shooting near Eureka,” he said. “A hunter reported shooting a grizzly bear that charged him on a forested trail east of Eureka. He shot the bear and then notified a game warden. It was an adult female and it was accompanied by a cub, and that incident remains under investigation.”

Tabish said hunters should be especially cautious as bears have not settled into their winter dens and they are actively search for food.

“Right now, I encourage all hunters to be carrying bear spray and know how to use it because it is an effective deterrent,” he said. “Hike or hunt with a partner and keep an eye out for bear sign or any potential bear activity, and if there is, I would recommend getting out of that area.”

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks provides information for hunters and dealing with bears by clicking here.